HOUSTON (ICIS)--INEOS Oligomers made a final investment decision to build a new polyalphaolefins (PAO) plant at its site in Chocolate Bayou, Texas, it said on Thursday.
The plant will have a capacity of 120,000 tonnes/year, and it will be the world's largest single PAO train, INEOS said.
The plant should start up in the third quarter of 2019. It will get its feedstock from an adjacent linear alpha olefin (LAO) plant, which INEOS is building. It will have a capacity of 420,000 tonnes/year.
The new PAO plant will complement existing units in La Porte, Texas, and Feluy, Belgium.
The company's PAO business has benefitted from a trend of companies reformulating lubricants so they can help improve the fuel efficiency of automobiles and lower emissions, said Joe Walton, business director, INEOS Oligomers.
"The size of this new PAO unit underscores our commitment to keep pace with our customers’ expanding requirements, well into the next decade," Walton said. "INEOS Oligomers is currently the world’s largest merchant supplier of low viscosity PAO and this investment will ensure we maintain that position.”
By adding a new train, INEOS is further strengthening its global supply chain, he said.
“The industry needs an ample supply of high quality base oils, such as PAO, to formulate the next generation of advanced lubricant products. INEOS is making the commitment to invest close to a billion dollars, in both PAO capacity and the necessary LAO feedstock supply, to ensure PAO is a viable and secure long-term formulation option for our customers,” said Bob Learman, INEOS Oligomers CEO.
Image above: PAOs are used to make lubricants. Source: Lehtikuva OY/REX/Shutterstock